Call for media: Rosetta’s comet rendezvous

From today’s ESA press release announcing the media event for Rosetta’s arrival at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 6 August. The event will also be streamed live; details below:

The media are invited to join ESA’s science and mission control experts and partners on Wednesday 6 August, from 09:30 CEST, at ESA’s Operations Centre for the day-long event celebrating the arrival and presenting the latest, high-resolution images of the comet’s nucleus.

Draft programme (Subject to change)

09:30 Doors open at ESOC H-building (1st floor)

10:00 Welcome, by Thomas Reiter, ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Mission Operations and Head of the European Space Operations Centre, ESOC

10:05–10:45 Addresses by:
–        ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain
–        Parliamentary State Secretary Brigitte Zypries, Air and Space Coordinator for the German Federal Government (BMWE)
–        Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the DLR German Aerospace Center
–        Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of the French space agency, CNES
–        Roberto Battiston, President of the Italian space agency, ASI (TBC)
–        Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration

10:45–11:25 First scientific findings and images from Rosetta’s approach:
–        Matt Taylor, ESA Rosetta mission scientist
–        Holger Sierks, MPS Göttingen, Germany (PI, OSIRIS instrument)
–        Samuel Gulkis, NASA JPL, Pasadena, USA (PI, MIRO instrument)
–        Fabrizio Capaccioni, IAPS, Rome, Italy (PI, VIRTIS instrument)

11:25–12:00 Mission operations and expected arrival at the comet
–        Paolo Ferri, Head of Mission Operations Dept., ESA, Darmstadt
–        Andrea Accomazzo, ESA Rosetta Flight Director
–        Sylvain Lodiot, ESA Rosetta Spacecraft Operations Manager
–        Frank Budnik, ESA Rosetta Flight Dynamics expert

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Press briefing at the new Media Centre, ESOC H building, (Ground floor)
–        Moderated interactive session with Rosetta scientists and mission experts to set the scene for upcoming science operations and preparations for the landing
–        Presentation of the latest high-resolution image of the comet

14:30 Q & A for media representatives

15:00 End of event, Media Centre closes

Media registration

Please register by 1 August at:

Directions to ESOC:

The press briefings will be live-streamed at and

ESA TV productions are made available via:



  • V.Losada says:

    Why have we to wait until August to see “high-resolution images of the comet’s nucleus”?

    This is absolutely shameful: The latest images that you have had the decency to share with us are 5 days old. Right when the moment some of us have been eagerly awaiting for (!!!) more than 20 years (!!!) is approaching. [In 1990 I worked -in the Spanish company GMV- in the development of the algorithms needed for the navigation in the vicinity of the comet and during the landing phase].

    You cannot have an idea of ​​how disappointed I am with your “dirty and shortsighted policy” regarding the sharing of the new information that you’re getting, and how much I’m starting to agree the opinion of all those who believe that it’s not worth funding space exploration with public money.

    Maybe when you won’t longer have the comfortable jobs that you are having today, you will realize the historical mistake that you are carrying out right now.

    • David says:

      “Why have we to wait until August to see “high-resolution images of the comet’s nucleus”?” – could it be because Rosetta actually arrives at the comet in August?

      “Images are five days old!!!!” – Didn’t a scientist reply a few days ago to a post that they weren’t seeing any newer images, so why would the public?

      I don’t quite understand this sort of resentment that not all images are immediately sent unprocessed directly unto some public website. Are you checking Curiosity’s image archive every day? Really? If you are and hold that as a standard for every other extraterrestrial mission that is (to their dismay) or will ever be then write a letter to ESA headquarters or something, this is such a fantastic mission that it seems like a bit of a shame if 50% of comments are going to be of this type.

      • José Ignacio Cimadevilla says:

        It is really needed that Rosetta is that close to Chury to get Hires images? Do you know how an instrument like OSIRIS works? Do you know how a camera with narrow angle lens works?

        Who is asking for all unprocessed images and scientific data in real time? We are requesting that few processed images are released to the public that is supporting this incredible and inspiring mission with their taxes. We want to be part of this amazing mission! But it seems that some people’s ego is more important than scientific knowledge sharing with the rest of humanity. Very sad indeed.

      • V.Losada says:

        It seems that you don’t see (or maybe you don’t want to see) the differences between the communication policy of ESA and that of other space agencies (NASA, for example).

        Have you had a look (a critical look, I mean) to the post entitled “Access to Rosetta Data” ( where they state and justify the “dirty and shortsighted policy” they are going to follow with the OSIRIS images, only to safeguard some particular interests inside a project paid with public money?

        “Didn’t a scientist reply a few days ago to a post that they weren’t seeing any newer images, so why would the public?”: And, of course, you believe it: Congratulations!

        I agree with you in a single thing: This is a fantastic mission. Do not let them hide Rosetta to us, delaying the information just to serve the particular interests of some people being paid with money from all of us.

    • Ton Reijntjes says:

      I am fully agree with you. But I have signed in for the press release to make my protest on the 6th of August.

  • Tom says:

    It is not just shameful, it is very stupid as well. You could have a very large crowd celebrating each new picture. Together with the press reactions that would create history!

    Instead you make the public very angry.

    The difference will certainly have strong consequences for the budget of ESA in the next years.

  • Mark Zambelli says:

    I for one will be tuning in for the live stream and am very grateful for the opportunity to do so.
    To clarify for others who are impatient for images… how can ESA release images more than once a week when they are only imaging the nucleus once a week just like they said months ago?

  • sciencefan says:

    The arrogance of the previous comments is ridiculous. If you have worked on this mission 20 years ago, then you surely now the limitations of the hardware.

    Right now the cameras on Rosetta are taking images of the nucleus WEEKLY only, to save data volume and shutter shots for later, as it has been explained many times. The navcam might image more often but is not resolving the nucleus yet. The scientists cannot release to the public more images than they have…

  • Redgy Devos says:

    I agree, i am confident that when Rosetta is station keeping with the comet pictures and data will come on a regular basis. Too much work & effort has gone into where we are now . Let’s congratulate the team instead of blasting them . If there are some who take all this for granted remember the Mars Observer spacecraft that failed a few days before entering orbit. This is not a Big Brother camera in space.These people are just doing their job and are doing it well in my humble opinion.

  • Tom says:

    On 16/07/2014 ESA made a statement that it was unwilling to provide recent pictures to the public. The “leak” the day before that, proved that indeed there were spectaculair pictures planned to be *not* released.

    Now 2 posts make us believe that there are no other pictures than published in this blog.
    O.K. be fair and:

    1 confirm that there are no other pictures
    2 state that the 16/07 statement is not true or not limiting.
    3 explain why “shutter shots” are limited
    4 explain why the massive receive equipment can only receive nucleus pictures ones a week
    5 publish the scedule for recieving those pictures
    6 promise to publish them with a delay of an hour or so

    And the public will fully agree and be happry!.

  • Ingo Althöfer says:

    I tried to register for the event on August 06.
    However, the link for registration does not work.

    Please, repair it.

  • emily says:

    For those debating the frequency/availability of OSIRIS images – this via the mission team: the imaging schedule is variable and the camera is not necessarily taking images every day due to demands of other instruments and also the fact that there is not much downlink volume available. Normally speaking, getting all the images down can easily take a few days at the current telemetry bitrate. For occasions like 6 Aug, special exceptions are made by storing one of the OSIRIS images in a high priority queue where normally only NAVCAM/navigation data are stored. Thus we will be able to present a new high-resolution image on the same day as arriving.

  • Marc says:

    I am insanely excited! What an awesome thing to be doing. I don’t care when you release the data! It’s AMAZING!!!!!

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